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The Gift


I'm always seeking new ways to express the immense reverence I have for the alchemical magic of death and that which is beyond the measurable confines of our material existence. These things give life meaning and fuel my purpose. This painting is an ode to the life-altering divine grace of beauty and otherworldly support that comes with transmuting the challenge of metaphoric and real death into opportunity for profound new connection to our own experience of life.

30"x40" oil on canvas

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“The Gift” is in many ways an interpretation of the personal alchemy I embarked upon in returning for nearly two years to my remarkably unimpressive suburban hometown to remodel my deceased mother’s dilapidated home laden with memories from my wildly troubled yet overwhelmingly mystical youth.


The background arches, common in temples from all esoteric and religious traditions, represent the dome of our heads. The cranium is where the hermetic seal of the pineal gland remains unbroken until we slip out of body during astral or full on out of body travels and again, but completely, at death.

The geo-electromagnetic halo represents the synchronicities that only through time do they make sense--and how, conversely, through time, as we organically evolve and shift perspective in looking back on our life experiences, the luminous parts of the synchronous unfolding of our time on earth shifts around in ways that offer new insights and an expanded sense of meaning or purpose to every single event.

The gentle skeleton spirit beholds the gift of connection to the everlasting Infinite by the glowing roses weaving through him (the skeleton model used was male). It is only through death that The Gift can exist; through a realized personal intimacy with the cathartic qualities of death (i.e. total surrender and transcendence of self) we create the inner space for an embodied connection to the Infinite to consciously dwell within us in the state otherwise known as communion.

And the raven, well, that’s my astral friend from childhood. Birds are remarkably attuned to what we call subtle energy move and are able to move fluidly between this world and invisible realms in terms of delivering communications beyond time or space. I hope you can imagine the extreme joy I felt when in 2022 I finally met the work of Neil Gaiman, starting with The Sandman comic + TV series and discovered the protagonist Dream has ravens just like my spirit buddies!


In honor of the gifts the dead leave us with that forever bloom in our hearts and minds in ways we cannot anticipate, we are simply aware of it happening when it happens, as the river of our time on Earth continues without them.

This is not the place to go into utmost, but I must name some points of reality bending that occurred leading up to and during my mom’s departure:

- On my mom’s last birthday, just three months prior to her death, the bouquet of white roses my dad gave her to celebrate her 69th year stayed fresh and blooming for one month straight despite one water change. Even when they finally died and dried, they dried mostly erect in surprising defiance to gravity.

- A week before she passed, an owl would land on my parents roof and made a ruckus for three nights. though my mom was not Persian, but with a Persian man (my dad), it is said in Persian superstition lore that someone in a household will die when an owl lands on the roof and makes themself known.

- Backtrack: a week before my dad’s mom passed in the mid-late 1990s, one of his siblings in Iran noticed their rose bushes began profusely blooming a rose within a rose within a rose which continued for some time after their mom Tuba’s death (Tuba is Farsi for a grand tree in paradise that cares for the people who have crossed over). Fast forward to 2017: one week before my mom passed, my parents small and entirely unrelated rose bush in Texas did the same and continued to do so for three months after. You can see the evidence in my instagram stories at the top of my IG profile labelled “mom’s departure”.

- When I got the call, I was in the art studio with my then-new best friend. All day we had been musing and making art in commemoration of her own mother’s 20 year deathiversary. We had only known each other a few months but instantly bonded…
This and more is really why this work of art is titled, “The Gift.”